Fashion designer Leo Almodal on Imelda Schweighart, controversial yellow gown
Fashion designer Leo Almodal on Imelda Schweighart, controversial yellow gown
Leo says contrary to Imelda's claim she had nothing to wear, he provided her a red gown which she refused to wear

MANILA, Philippines – Fashion designer Leo Almodal has spoken up about the controversial yellow gown Miss Ecuador Katherine Espin wore to the Miss Earth coronation night, which former Miss Philippines Earth Imelda Schweighart claimed she was supposed to wear.

The evening gown competition came after the announcement of the top 16. The top 4 were announced, including Miss Ecuador, after the Top 8.

In an interview with CNN Philippines on Monday, October 31, Imelda said the gown Katherine wore during coronation night was supposed to be the one she was going to wear. She also said that she had nothing to wear and ended up borrowing a gown from Miss Guam, who was kind enough to lend her one.

Imelda did not appear in the evening gown competition, which came after the announcement of the top 16.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Leo answered Imelda’s claim that she was the one who was supposed to wear the gown. According to the post, Leo gave a red gown to Imelda but she refused to wear it and ended up borrowing a dress from Miss Guam.

“That yellow gown is technically my property and just letting her borrow it for Miss Earth pageant; that if she makes it to the top 16. As the owner it will be under my discretion to whom it will be used. Since she did not make it to top 16, not competing for the evening gown segment and unfortunately I didn’t finish the gown of Ecuador on time which I am obliged because she already paid half of the amount as downpayment. My team made that decision to dress her up in that yellow gown.

“It was actually a blessing in disguise that saved me from further troubles, shame and humiliation. I believe that things happen for a reason and checking the fit, length, and style of the gown; it suits Katherine perfectly. Before dressing up Katherine I sent Imelda messages in Facebook to take down the photos and videos but she never listened, she posted it after she did not make it to the top 16 cut. I actually begged her. She was not ripped or robbed; The gown was not taken away from her and she was asked nicely. Technically it’s MINE; and I don’t want that masterpiece to go to waste. I want to show it to the world because that gown is made for that purpose. Contrary to her statement that she has nothing to wear is an absolute LIE!!! I provided her with a beautiful red gown but she smiled and refused to wear it, saying that it looks like Miss Belgium’s gown and opted to borrow from Miss Guam instead,” Leo said.

Here’s the fashion designer’s full statement regarding the issue:

Meanwhile in another Facebook post, Georgette Garrido, one of the people behind Kagandahang Flores, which trained Imelda, gave their side of the issue.

According to Georgette, they saw Leo’s apprentices approach the ladies backstage with the boxes of gowns. Georgette then saw Miss Ecuador approaching two of Leo’s people and asking for her gown, although she was already wearing the yellow gown which Imelda was supposed to wear.

Georgette then said they found Imelda backstage and saw that she was sad because the gown she was supposed to wear was not with her.

“It was me who told her that they let Miss Ecuador wear the gown for her. And then I looked for the apprentices but they are already nowhere to be found backstage. At last I came across to one of them and asked if Imee can wear the remaining red gown. So we run to Imee but when the gown was brought out of the box, the gown looks so similar to what Miss Belgium is wearing. Of course no girl will wear a gown which is very much the same like others. So Imee and I asked Miss Guam if Imee can borrow hers. Miss Guam was so kind to let Imee wear her gown,” Georgette wrote.

Imelda also drew flak for criticizing Katherine, as shown in a video that has since gone viral: “‘Yung nanalo peke ilong, peke baba, peke boobs! Miss Earth, dapat natural.”

(The winner has [a] fake nose, fake chin, fake breasts. Miss Earth should be natural.)

Imelda had been having a tumultuous Miss Earth season in the last stretch before the international pageant last Saturday, October 29. She was recently criticized for her comments on President Rodrigo Duterte and Adolf Hitler. She has since apologized for her statements. –

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